Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman.
Today, we discuss the budding relationship between one of the elite Class of 2019 quarterbacks and LSU’s offensive coordinator.
NEW ORLEANS — Grant Gunnell may emerge as the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the Class of 2019.
Apparently, he’s no slouch on the hardwood either.
It makes sense. After all, he’s 6-foot-5 and 207 pounds. In addition to a cannon right arm, he’s got length and a killer jump shot.
So, when LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada made the four-hour trek to Houston earlier this spring to extend an offer to the 4-star junior quarterback, that was only one part of the itinerary. Apparently, he wanted to see him throw before he offered, then gauge his competitiveness in a game of HORSE.
That game is still on Gunnell’s schedule, penciled in as “TBD.” But Canada got a surefire glimpse of the fire within the elite quarterback.
“I like him a lot. He’s a genuine guy and he doesn’t really talk much about football,” Gunnell told SEC Country at Nike’s “The Opening” regional in New Orleans.
So, what did he want to discuss?
“He really just wanted to play me 1-on-1 in HORSE. When he comes back, we’ll play,” Gunnell mentioned. “He might have went to Indiana, but yeah, I think I’d win.”
Since Canada extended the offer to Gunnell on Jan. 27, communication has been consistent. The offensive coordinator checks in on the quarterback at least once a week, and Gunnell is quick to return his phone calls.
That relationship has only increased the St. Pius X (Texas) product’s interest in the Tigers. Canada’s offense and, more specifically, his personality have been major selling points early on.
“It was great to see the facilities and get to talk to coach Canada a lot,” said Gunnell on his visit to Baton Rouge for LSU’s junior day on March 18. “I got to hang out with him, see what he’s doing with the offense and in practice, and that was really nice.”
Much of the junior day visit was spent hearing Canada’s pitch on how he could use Gunnell in the Tigers’ offense.
There was no Xs or Os discussed or concepts traded back and forth. Like most quarterbacks who LSU is courting, the conversations center around an adaptable offense. That’s part of the appeal for Gunnell.
“He was trying to sell me on how he changes the offense to fit the strengths of the quarterback, which I like a lot,” he explained. “It’s more creative. The passing (game) is more wide open with motions and stuff like that. It’s not just running it down your throat anymore.”
While it remains early in Gunnell’s recruitment, he plans on releasing his top 6 schools later this spring. Count on the Tigers making the cut. After trimming his options from 24 to 6, the Houston quarterback plans on giving his pledge in the summertime.
Why so early? Gunnell wants to begin recruiting players to join him at the university he selects. Some of the names he said he’d like to team up with at the college level include 2019 Texas wide receivers Jalen Curry and Jordan Whittington, and 2019 Texas tight end Austin Stogner.
Curry, Whittington and Stogner not only camped with Gunnell at the New Orleans regional in March but joined the elite quarterback for LSU’s national junior day as well.
“I’m about to drop a top 6 and LSU is up there,” he said. “They changed the offense. I can tell. … I want to get it (his commitment) and start recruiting players that I want to play with.”
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